Monday, March 28, 2011
"We Must First Take Account" is a conference the end of this week at Michigan Law on Race, Law, and History.
“To get beyond racism, we must first take account of race,” is the well-remembered phrase from Justice Harry Blackmun’s opinion in the 1978 Bakke decision. Blackmun’s view may remain controversial in debates about constitutional jurisprudence. But for historians of law it is axiomatic. In the generation since Bakke, scholars have indeed taken account, mining legal culture’s archives to explain the origins and endurance of race. Today race is at the core of interpreting the history of law in the Americas. Understood as a set of ideas that
rely upon religion, culture, labor, biology, and politics, race has organized profound inequality and galvanized movements for social justice.
More information and the program is available here. A stellar line-up of speakers!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
A "mini-symposium" on April 7, 2011, starting at 3pm, will feature a lecture on "One State's Challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act" by Maura Healey, Chief, Civil Rights Division, Massachusetts Attorney General's Office.
Healy (pictured right) will be speaking about Massachusetts' successful constitutional challenge to section 3 of DOMA; Judge Tauro found that section 3 "offends" the Tenth Amendment reasoning that marriage is a quintessential matter of state, and not federal, power.
Healy's talk will be followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Steve Sanders, and including:
- Thomas M. Fisher, Solicitor General, State of Indiana
- Dawn Johnsen, Walter W. Foskett Professor, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice
- Brian Powell, Rudy Professor of Sociology, Indiana University College of Arts & Sciences and co-author of Counted Out: Same-sex Relations and Americans' Definitions of the Family
- Deborah Widiss, Associate Professor, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
More information about the event and its webcast available here.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Section One of the Fourteenth Amendment provides:
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."
For some, this provision is ambiguous, especially when it is applied to persons born in the United States of non-citizen parents who are not authorized to be within the nation's borders.
A fascinating discussion - - - styled as a debate - - - between John Eastman, of Chapman School of Law, and Ediberto Román, (pictured left) of Florida International University, illuminates the interpretations of this provision with reference to constitutional history and current controversies.
Eastman is the author of the paper Born in the USA: Rethinking Birthright Citizenship in the Wake of 9/11, based on his Congressional testimony contending that section one of the Fourteenth Amendment has been misconstrued as mandating birthright citizenship and that the clause was merely a"codification" of the 1866 Civil Rights Act.
Román is the author of the book Citizenship and its Exclusions: A Classical, Constitutional, and Critical Race Critique, which we discussed here.
The video and audio of the proceedings, part of a conference at FIU on Citizenship can be accessed over at Nuestras Voces Latinas here.
Monday, March 14, 2011
The Drake Law School Constitutional Law Center recently announced its 2011 Symposium, "Debating the Living Constitution." The Symposium is Saturday, April 2, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Drake; more information, including a registration form, is here. Here's the line-up:
- The Honorable Robert W. Pratt, U.S. District Court Judge, Southern District of Iowa
- Miguel Schor, Visiting Professor of Law and Director of the Drake Constitutional Law Center, 2010-2011
- Do We Have a Living Constitution?, David Strauss, Gerald Ratner Distinguished Service Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School
- Assisted Living, Rebecca Brown, Newton Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Southern California School of Law
- The Problem of Article V for Constitutional Theory, Keith Whittington, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics, Princeton University
- Democracy and the Living Tree Constitution, Wil Waluchow, Senator William McMaster Chair in Constitutional Studies, McMaster University.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
The keynote lecture Friday evening at this year's conference of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities was Anatomies of Torture: CIA Black Sites and Redacted Bodies, delivered by Joseph Pugliese (pictured) of Macquarie University in Australia.
In his examination of the so-called "black sites," secret prisons located outside U.S. jurisdiction in which a range of state-sanctioned practices of torture have transpired, Pugliese focused on the death of a young Afghan man, Gul Rahman, who died on 20 November 2002, in the CIA black site prison known as the Salt Pit, located in northern Kabul, Afghanistan. While Rahman's body has never been recovered, Pugliese argues that Rahman is nominally buried within the Classified Response to the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Professional Responsibility Classified Report Dated July 29, 2009. This document, prepared by Counsel for Judge Jay S. Bybee, is a detailed repost to the accusation made by the Office of Professional Resposibility (OPR) that Bybee committed professional misconduct in light of Bybee’s memo (August 1, 2002) to Alberto Gonzales, Counsel to the President, which authorised some forms of torture.
Yet portions of the memos are redacted. Pugliese displayed the memos and examined the legal process that edits and censors a document of any secret or sensitive information through the application of a black marker over designated text. In the context of the CIA "black sites" and the Salt Pit in particular, Pugliese argues that the process of redaction must be seen as producing its own discursive black sites of silence, loss and death.
Pugliese's presentation was spell-binding and an excellent capstone to a conference in which the critical tools of humanities scholars and legal scholars were so often combined.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
For a Conference in Milan, Italy on December 1-2, 2011, with proposals due April 24, 2011.
In virtually every nation, assertions of the need for secrecy on matters of counterterrorism policy and practice have created tensions with efforts to ensure transparency, accountability and procedural fairness. The conference is open to proposals that seek to bring comparative analysis to bear on how best to mediate these tensions, including:
- the challenge of secrecy to democratic lawmaking on counterterrorism policy;
- the use of “secrecy” privileges to block litigation challenging allegedly illegal government
- the use of classified evidence against individuals or organizations to freeze their assets, designate them as terrorist, or justify other restraints on their liberty;
- the use of “anonymous” witnesses who testify without revealing their identity;
- the closure of criminal trials and other proceedings to the public;
- and the adoption of secret coercive programs without transparent legal justification, such as the US’s coercive interrogation practices or targeted killing program.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Harvard Civil Rights - Civil Liberties Journal has held an online forum on Professor Libby Adler’s piece (available on the forum) entitled “Gay Rights and Lefts: Rights Critique and Distributive Analysis for Real Law Reform."
Adler, author of The Gay Agenda, here argues for a "critical approach to law reform agenda setting," with a methodology that
rests on a distinction between reconstruction and decisionism. Decisionism, according to my usage, consists of making difficult choices about which law reform initiatives to undertake based on broadly informed distributional hypotheses and cost-benefit calculations and then acting on the best information one can get with the best judgment one can muster, always prepared to bear the costs of one’s choices. Each law reform achievement, should it materialize, rather than being a step along a path in the direction of a lodestar such as formal equality, will—one hopes—effectuate a positive distributive impact for marginalized persons while imposing bearable costs. As a theoretic matter, the achievement is likely to be generalizable only to a limited extent, if at all. In other words, it will not necessarily further any overarching theoretic objective
Twelve invited commentators respond to Libby Adler's advocation of “decisionism" including Angela Harris, Art Leonard, Aziza Ahmad, Francisco Valdes, Katherine Franke, Nancy Polikoff, Darren Rosenblum, Sarah Valentine, and Anthony Varona.
Adler's piece and the comments demonstrate that the problem of "rights" in constitutional law remain a persistent issue, as well as the problems of "equality" and "identity."
This forum could be an excellent basis for discussion in a constitutional law seminar or a jurisprudence class.
A "live" Colloquium will be held on March 9, 2011 at 5-7p.m. at Harvard Law School in Austin North.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Here are a few that you might not want to miss.
Food Fight, March 1, 6.30 pm, organized by the law review at City University of New York School of Law, raising First Amendment issues such as "veggie libel laws" and campaign finance.
Rehabiliating Lochner: Defending Individual Rights against Progressive Reform, March 1 [and subsequent dates] sponsored by The Federalist Society. David Bernsetin will be speaking about his forthcoming book at various venues throughout the month.
Marlee Kline Lecture in Social Justice, March 3, 5.30 pm, organized by the Faculty of Law at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, delivered by Ruthann Robson.
Citizens United and Corporate Speech, March 4, 8.30 am, hosted by The John Marshall Law Review and Steven Schwinn at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, featuring a keynote by Thomas E. Mann of the Brookings Institute and panelists such as Geoffrey Stone, Atiba Ellis, and Monica Youn, director of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.
Writing a Brandeis Biography, March 7, 3pm, at the Oklahoma University College of Law, by Melvin Urofsky, author of notable biography of Justice Louis Brandeis. Urlovsky will also speak at a Faculty Colloquim at noon on "“Dissent As Form of Constitutional Dialogue."
Justice Clarence Thomas: 20 Years, March 11, 9.30am, at the Detroit Athletic Club, hosted by the University of Detroit Mercy Law Review. The morning panel is devoted to individual liberties and the afternoon panel focuses on governmental powers.
Moral Imagination in Judging, March 11, noon, at Washburn University School of Law, by Susan Bandes (pictured right) delivering the annual Foulstein Siefkin Lecture, organized by the Washburn Law Journal.
Boundaries and Enemies, 2011 Conference of The Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities, March 11 - 12, at University of Nevada, Las Vegas – William S. Boyd School of Law, organized by the association. Two packed days of panels and events.
Official Wrongdoing and the Civil Liability of the Federal Government and Officers, March 18, 9am, organized by the law journal at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, Minneapolis. The afternoon panel is entitled "Constitutional Claims: Bivens Suits."
Perspectives on Prerogative, March 24-26, The LeFrak Forum and the Symposium on Science, Reason, & Modern Democracy, Department of Political Science, Michigan State University, will "examine an especially troubling form of executive power: "prerogative" or "extra-legal" or "extra-constitutional" power."
Other events for which there is some information include two at Chapman University School of Law: Randy Barnett on March 8 discussing the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and Eugene Volokh on March 16 on "The Mechanisms of the Slippery Slope," and at Loyola Law School- New Orleans, on March 11 at noon, Calvin Johnson and Steven Willis on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, moderated by Cynthia Lepow.
and in April .......
Constitutional Law Symposium: Debating the Living Constitution, April 2, 8.30 am - 12.30 pm, organized by the Center for Constitutional Law at Drake University College of Law, Iowa, featuring speakers such as Rebecca Brown of USC School of Law.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Actor, playwright, and Con Law Prof Paul Baier (LSU) will take his play "Father Chief Justice" Edward Douglass White and the Constitution to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, March 8, 2011. (He previously staged it, to great acclaim, at the AALS Annual Conference.)
Here are the details:
"Father Chief Justice" Edward Douglass White and the Constitution
Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.
Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave, SE, Washington, DC
RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org or call Tynesha Adams at 202.707.5065
Check out the announcement for more information and a list of cast members (notable, all).
Monday, February 7, 2011
The Campbell Law Review will host its 2011 symposium on May 18, 2011. Here's the announcement:
The Campbell Law Review presents its annual 2011 symposium:
Liberalism, Constitutionalism, and Christianity: Perspectives on the Influence of Christianity on Classical Liberal Legal Thought
The conference will consider the relationship between liberalism and Christianity and their influence on American constitutionalism. The conference will investigate the extent to which classical liberalism and Christianity influenced the formulation of the Constitution and the thought of the Founding era. It will focus on the importance of the foundational Christian commitments to characteristic notions of religious toleration and freedom of association as they are borne out in the thought of the Founders and the founding era.
The conference will be hosted on May 18, 2011, at Campbell University School of Law, located in Raleigh, North Carolina. The following presenters will be featured:
Professor Robert F. Cochran, Director of the Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute of Law, Religion, and Ethics and the Louis D. Brandeis Professor of Law, Pepperdine University School of Law, Professor John M. Breen, Loyola University Chicago School of Law; Professor Bruce P. Frohnen, Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law; Professor Michael Scaperlanda, University of Oklahoma College of Law; Professor Barry Shain, Colgate University; Professor John Inazu, Visiting Professor, Duke University School of Law; Professor Anthony Baker, Visiting Professor, John Marshall Law School; Professor C. Scott Pryor, Visiting Professor, Campbell University School of Law; Dean Donald R. McConnell, Trinity Law School.
All are invited. Attendees may find more details and register here.
Monday, January 31, 2011
There is a growing movement for a right to an attorney in civil cases, sometimes known as a civil Gideon, coupled with increased funding for civil legal services and legal aid. We've discussed the right to counsel in civil litigation here, here, here, here, here, and here.
Judge Jonathan Lippman has recently written in the NY Law Journal that:
At best, only 20 percent of the civil legal needs of low-income New Yorkers are being met today. Providers have no choice but to turn away vast numbers of eligible clients, including eight out of every nine in New York City.
One result of this deepening crisis is that the courts are seeing an ever-expanding number of unrepresented litigants. We heard testimony from judges, clients, lawyers and others about what happens when litigants try to navigate the courts without counsel.
Befitting his role as chief judge of New York's highest court, Lippman is not making any constitutional arguments. Instead, he posits that there is a "moral and ethical obligation" as well as making efficiency and effectiveness claims. He suggests that
the state begin to reduce the unmet civil legal services needs in those matters that concern the "essentials of life": a roof over one's head, family stability, personal safety free from domestic violence, access to health care and education, or subsistence income and benefits.
This is the recommendation in the Report issued by The Task Force to Expand Legal Services in New York; Judge Lippman presided over the hearings held throughout the state. A New York Times Editorial essentially endorsed the Task Force's recommendation.
Lippman will be speaking at City University of New York School of Law on Thursday, February 3, about the right to an attorney in civil cases.
Admission is free
RSVP required: email@example.com
UPDATE: Discussion of event in New York Law Journal, February 7, 2011.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
We've previously posted on the problems of marriage monopoly under constitutional federalism and the E-marriage solution proposed by Mae Kuykendall and Adam Candeub.
The topic will be under discussion at AALS this January on a "hot topics" panel scheduled for January 7, 2011 at 4.00 pm. Panelists include:
Mae Kuykendall, MSU College of Law, Moderator
Adam Candeub, MSU College of Law, Presentation of the E-Marriage Concept
Larry Ribstein, Illinois College of Law, Critical Analysis
Anita Bernstein, Brooklyn Law College, Commentary on Marriage Essentials
Monu Bedi, Stetson School of Law, The Military Context
Aviva Abramovsky, Syracuse College of Law, State Export of Other Legal Arrangements
June Carbone, UMKC School of Law, Redefining Law and Geography
Sunday, November 7, 2010
The event is November 18- 20 in Washington, D.C.
Speakers include Senator from Kentucky Mitch McConnell, John Yoo, ConLaw Prof Randy Barnett, James Bopp, and Attorney General of Virginia Kenneth Cuccinelli. The Annual Dinner on Thursday evening will feature an interview of Justice Antonin Scalia, with Jan Crawford of CBS News, and the Friday evening lecture is by Judge Dennis Jacobs (pictured right) of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
More information and registration here.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
That's the question that participants will address at Loyola's (Chicago) Constitutional Law Colloquium this Friday and Saturday, November 5 and 6.
This first annual Loyola conference brings together constitutional law scholars at all stages of their professional development to discuss current projects, doctrinal developments in constitutional law, and future goals. Loyola Profs John Nowak, Alexander Tsesis, and Michael Zimmer put together a terrific program; this promises to be a wonderful event. Professor Lawrence Solum (Illinois) will speak at the lunch on Friday.
For more information, including presenters' biographies and abstracts, check out the Colloquium web-site.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Is the "takings revolution" over? This conference "explores the regulatory takings issue as it relates to land use and environmental regulation" and "brings together a diverse group of leading scholars and experienced practitioners to discuss cutting-edge issues raised by recent and pending court cases and new regulatory initiatives."
"Some topics to be discussed include the Supreme Court's recent Stop the Beach Renourishment decision, the future of the "judicial takings" theory, takings questions raised by sea level rise and other consequences of climate change, controversial new decisions applying an expansive interpretation of the Penn Central analysis, and recent takings cases involving water and endangered species laws."
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Karla McKanders (pictured left), University of Tennessee College of Law, and Jennifer Chacon (pictured right), University California Irvine School of Law, are among the speakers at the November 5, 2010 Symposium on Federalism to be held at Loyola Law New Orleans.
Bill Ong Hing (pictured below) University of San Francisco will deliver the keynote.
More information here.
Monday, August 30, 2010